PNP dismisses 13 cops in Atimonan killings

Bea Cupin

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(UPDATED) Dismissed from service more than a year after the incident are 13 policemen, including a veteran intelligence officer

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – One year and 3 months after 13 suspected criminal gang members died during a summary execution in Atimonan, Quezon, the Philippine National Police (PNP) ordered the dismissal from service of 13 cops involved in the incident, including a police superintendent who led the joint police and military checkpoints.

In a March 5 decision, Chief PNP Director General Alan Purisima ordered the dismissal of Superintendent Hansel Marantan and 12 other cops after they were “found guilty of serious irregularity in the performance of duty” during the Atimonan incident. They were previously sacked from their posts.

Also dismissed from service are:

  • Superintendent Ramon Balauag
  • Chief Inspector Grant Gollod
  • Senior Inspector John Paolo Carracedo
  • Senior Inspector Timoteo Orig
  • Senior Police Officer 3 Joselito de Guzman
  • SPO1 Carlo Cataquiz Jr.
  • SPO1 Arturo Sarmiento
  • PO3 Eduardo Oronan
  • PO2 Nelson Indal
  • PO2 Al Bhazar Jailani
  • PO1 Wryan Sardea
  • PO1 Rodel Talento

Purisima also ordered a one rank demotion for:

  • Police Inspector Ferdinand Aguilar 
  • (Retired) Police Inspector Evaristo San Juan 
  • PO3 Benedict Dimayuga 
  • PO2 Ronnie Serdena
  • PO2 Esperdion Corpuz, Jr.

Since San Juan has already retired, Purisima ordered the PNP to “effect the amendment of [San Juan’s] retirement order.” Also suspended for 6 months are PO1 Allen Ayobo and PO1 Bernie De Leon.

Marantan and his group, the PNP said, would remain in the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame. 

The incident in Quezon in January 2013 was the biggest crime scandal to hit the police under the Aquino administration at the time. Marantan himself is a veteran intelligence officer who claimed they were running after big-time gamblers and criminals in southern Luzon. The operation also involved members of the miltary’s elite Special Forces unit.

‘It’s a rubout’

Six months after the incident, an investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) concluded that the 20 PNP personnel and 25 soldiers involved in the incident had in fact planned to kill the suspects.

The Palace had earlier “directed Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima to file the appropriate criminal and administrative charges against Hansel Marantan, James Andres Melad, and others.” Melad, former Calabarzon director, and 11 soldiers were later cleared of criminal liability.  

In a memorandum to Purisima, Police Director Alexander Roldan of the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) said administrative cases against Melad and Senior Superintendent Valeriano Templo de Leon “was forwarded to the NAPOLCOM for proper disposition” since they were presidential appointees.

Marantan’s involvement in the illegal numbers game jueteng, said the NBI, allegedly prompted him to plan “Coplan Armado,” where the encounter happened. Based on intelligence reports gathered by Marantan, Vic Siman, alleged leader of the criminal gang and his cohorts were members of private armed groups hired by jeuteng and drug lords.

The Atimonan checkpoint was intended to kill Siman and his men, according to the Justice department.

All of the officers dismissed by the PNP also face multiple murder charges for the rubout. Carracedo also faces obstruction of justice raps alongside the murder charges.

Two cases are still related to the Atimonan massacre are still pending before the IAS: a case for grave misconduct (murder) against Marantan and others, as well as a case for grave misconduct (obstruction of apprehension) against Carracedo “consolidated with the case of less grave neglect of duty” against Balauag. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.